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Slaugham and Old Park

There are currently 4 comments and 2 photos online for this walk.

Slaugham and Old Park
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 28 Aug 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guidestar1 Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guidestar1 Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guidestar1 Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guidestar1 Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guide
West Sussex, Slaugham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Slaugham and Old Park
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guide boot Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guide
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A 3.5 mile circular walk from the small pretty village of Slaugham (pronounced Slafam) in West Sussex. The route takes in the peaceful rolling countryside including an impressive old mill pond. There are great views throughout and a chance to visit the grave of the sister of Admiral Horatio Nelson.

The walk has a number of steady climbs and descents throughout. There is about one mile of walking along a quiet country lane and you will need to negotiate three stiles (all with dog-sized gaps underneath) and some kissing gates. The paths across the open fields and meadows can be quite muddy after rain and in winter. Old Park Farm is currently deserted (correct August 2014) and so the fields are deserted meadows with no livestock or crops to negotiate. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

Slaugham is located close to the A23, 7 miles south of Crawley. The walk starts and finishes from the centre of the village and there is parking available directly outside the church (St Mary’s) or on the village roads. Approximate post code RH17 6AG.

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Walk Sections

Start to Mill Pond
Start to Mill Pond

Start point: 51.0386 lat, -0.2082 long
End point: 51.0349 lat, -0.2065 long

Enter the church yard (via the ornate wooden lych gate) on the path signed as a public footpath. Take time to appreciate this magnificent church. The oldest parts of St Mary’s Church date from the 12th century with the tower added in the late 13th century. Within the churchyard is the tomb of Catherine Matcham, the sister of Admiral Horatio Nelson, as well as a table tomb dating from 1615.

Follow the paved path passing to the right of the church’s tall flint tower. A few paces later, you will see a signpost marking a choice of two footpaths. Take the right-hand branch, NOT the paved path, to follow the stone path through the church yard.

The path leads you through a gap in the hedge to leave the church yard. Keep straight ahead on the path between hedgerows and trees. At the end of the section of young trees, the path swings right and then, at a fingerpost, swings left between fences. Continue on the obvious path ahead through the trees. As the path swings left, you will see a large concrete block on the left, one of several old tank defences in this area (more about this later).

Keep ahead over the small bridge which crosses the River Ouse. You will come to a fork, you can take either path here as the two branches merge again shortly (the right-hand path is higher and will give you better views over the mill pond to the right). Soon the views open up across the old pond to the right.

The mill pond was created within the River Ouse to support the Weald Iron Industry. Iron ore was mined locally and smelted with charcoal in blast furnaces to create iron. Water power was used to power the furnaces and forges, with several series of ponds created across the local valleys to power the waterwheels. The industry was at its height during the reign of Elizabeth I with more than 180 sites operating across The Weald. The iron was used for utensils, nails, hinges and cannon.

Mill Pond to Old Park Farm
Mill Pond to Old Park Farm

Start point: 51.0349 lat, -0.2065 long
End point: 51.03 lat, -0.212 long

Keep ahead for just a short distance further to reach a T-junction with a tarmac lane. Turn right along this, passing Dragonfly Cottage on the left. Immediately afterwards, fork right to leave the lane and join a signed footpath. Follow this footpath along the southern edge of the mill pond. You will pass the pond’s boathouse on the right and there are great views across the pond. Keep your eyes peeled for the pond’s resident heron.

Some distance along, the path swings left via a stile to reach a meadow. Follow the obvious grass path across the centre of this meadow. At the far side, cross the pair of stiles (or you are likely to find the pair of wide gates open instead) to reach the next meadow. Walk ahead (with the fence close on the left) and then begin to swing gradually right to reach a stile set about half way along the top boundary. Cross this and keep ahead to pass between the deserted farm outbuildings for Old Park Farm.

Old Park Farm to Slaugham Lane
Old Park Farm to Slaugham Lane

Start point: 51.03 lat, -0.212 long
End point: 51.0238 lat, -0.2189 long

Keep ahead on the path with a hedge on the right and the brick stables on the left. Beyond the stables the views to the left open up across the paddocks to the impressive lines of plane trees. If you glance behind you’ll see the beautiful old clock tower and weather vane on top of the stables. Further along the views open up ahead across the rolling hills of the Old Park estate.

At the end of the paddocks, you will come to the corner of a stone access track. Do NOT join the track, instead bear diagonally right to join the grass track with the stream running immediately on the left. Follow the waymarkers which mark the line of the track, swinging right and then left and through gateposts to reach a large open meadow.

Follow the track and, as it swings right again, fork left to join the narrower grass path which heads up across the centre of the meadow, heading for one of the wooden telegraph poles ahead. Pass under the power lines and then a kissing gate leads you out to the road, Slaugham Lane.

Slaugham Lane to Phipps House
Slaugham Lane to Phipps House

Start point: 51.0238 lat, -0.2189 long
End point: 51.0424 lat, -0.2165 long

Turn right along the pavement. The road leads you past the entrance for a water treatment works on the left and then, further along, Warninglid Primary School on the right. Note: the pavement ends here so take care of traffic on the quiet lane from this point.

Continue along the road, passing the old school house and the collection of Old Park Cottages. The lane descends steadily between trees. At the bottom of the slope ignore the footpath to the right, simply follow the lane which crosses the bridge over the River Ouse. Here you will see more concrete blocks at the sides of the bridge. These are more examples of the tank defences which were built during World War II, to prevent enemy tanks crossing the river in case of invasion.

Continue along the lane, enjoying the range of ancient trees along the way. When you reach a crossroads, go straight ahead, signed to Handcross. Through the trees to the left you will be able to make out the water of Slaugham Furnace Pond. Today the pond is used for fishing, but at the height of the Weald Iron Industry the pond’s water would have driven the wheel that powered the hammer and bellows in the forge.

Follow the lane steadily climbing and IGNORE the first footpath off to the right (opposite the entrance to Lower Ashfold). Continue past the gated entrance for Phipps House and Lodge on the right and, immediately afterwards, you will see a low concrete footpath marker by the hedge.

Phipps House to End
Phipps House to End

Start point: 51.0424 lat, -0.2165 long
End point: 51.0389 lat, -0.2082 long

Turn right and follow the footpath between hedgerows. The path, part of the High Weald Landscape Trail, eventually leads you through a kissing gate into woodland. The path leads you down and across a small stream, then keep right at the T-junction (still signed as the public footpath). The path continues with fenced open fields to the left and leads you out via a gate to a T-junction with the village road in Slaugham.

Turn right along the lane and you’ll come to a white wide gate ahead. This marks the edge of the Slaugham Park Estate. Pass through the smaller white side gate (to the right of main gate) and follow the village road between a number of pretty cottages. On the right you will pass a white telephone box, one of only three in the country. It seems the Lord of the Manor paid the Post Office to paint it white in the 1920s and it has never been changed. Keep ahead for a short distance further to reach St Mary’s Church where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


4 responses to "Slaugham and Old Park"

Slaugham is a very nice village - glad that the walk guide suggest how to pronounce it! Whilst the walk goes through farmland and along some roads it was very peaceful and we only met two people all the way around the walk.

By Richard on 2014-10-07 18:40:20

Lovely walk starting from a lovely village with some wonderful views on route

By spike290166 on 2016-07-25 16:24:04

First use of app. Very clear instructions and a beautiful walk.

By Tpool on 2016-09-04 15:39:59

Nice Saturday morning walk to fill your lungs with fresh air, taking in a sleepy little village a forgotten mill pond and nice countryside views over Sussex meadows. Would like to do a walk around this area of 5+ miles

By JohnSuxxes on 2016-11-06 12:59:42

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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2 images to "Slaugham and Old Park"

3576_0JohnSuxxes1478436931 Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guide Image by: JohnSuxxes
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The boat house at the mill pond in slaugham
3576_1JohnSuxxes1478436932 Slaugham and Old Park Walking Guide Image by: JohnSuxxes
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
long open meadow out of Slaugham

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